Siemens planning massive new Munich headquarters

In the wake of major corporate restructuring, German engineering conglomerate Siemens is planning a new Munich headquarters that the industrial giant hopes will revitalise its image as well as an entire city block.

Siemens planning massive new Munich headquarters
The Ludwig Ferdinand Palais, currently used by Siemens execs. Photo: DPA

An architectural competition will begin in early 2011 with the aim of completing the structure between Wittelsbacher Platz and Oskar-von-Miller-Ring in 2015, daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Monday.

The firm’s budget is said to be in the low hundreds of millions of euros for the new headquarters, which the company hopes will reflect a transparent, environmentally friendly image, the paper said.

Buildings at the site, not far from the southern tip of the city’s famous English Garden park near the Residenz royal palace, are planned to have plenty of glass, with offices on top floors and shops and restaurants on the ground floor. But the Ludwig Ferdinand palace, a protected monument in the complex already in use by Siemens, will be spared major renovations.

Siemens CEO Peter Löscher plans to present more details soon, but Munich Mayor Christian Ude told the paper that negotiations between the city and the company have been going on for some time, and were a welcome declaration of Siemens’ commitment to region. He also spoke of a possible pedestrian zone in the area, similar to that between the government district and Museum Island in Berlin.

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Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.